Walsall has shown a fall in case rates – and in other areas the rate is not rising as quickly as it was in previous weeks.
The Delta variant is more infectious than previous forms of the virus, but while some areas have been badly hit, there has been no widespread explosion of cases across the country.
Having said that, there is concern abut sharp rises in areas like Telford and Lichfield. And in Birmingham extra testing resources have been implemented after the case rate there rose to almost 125 per 100,000.
Health secretary Matt Hancock says the national figures are encouraging in that the rise in virus rates appears to have been stemmed by vaccinations and testing.
He said: “We are seeing that growth in case rates is slowing. “Thankfully, the number of hospitalisations whilst rising, is not rising very quickly.
“And thankfully, even more, the number of people dying from Covid remains very, very low.
“In Scotland, which is the worst affected part of the UK at the moment, their case rates have been rising somewhat earlier, somewhat more, than elsewhere in the UK. And there again, the number of people dying is not rising. This is encouraging.”
The figures, for the seven days to June 17, are based on the number of people who have tested positive for Covid-19 in either a lab-reported or rapid lateral flow test, by specimen date. The rate is expressed as the number of new cases per 100,000 people.
Of the 315 local areas in England, 267 (85 per cent) have seen a rise in rates, 44 (14 per cent) have seen a fall and four are unchanged.
Blackburn with Darwen in Lancashire continues to have the highest rate, with 531.7 cases per 100,000 people. But this is down from 600.6 in the seven days to June 10.
Hyndburn in Lancashire has the second highest rate, up from 409.7 to 480.0, with 389 new cases. Ribble Valley, also in Lancashire, has the third highest, down from 458.2 to 418.8, with 255 new cases.
Four of the five areas with the biggest week-on-week rises are now in the North East. Newcastle upon Tyne’s figure has risen from 116.6 to 236.4.
Experts suggest that the current wave of the virus will be shallower than previous waves, peaking at around 15,000 infections a day nationally before falling away within the next two or three weeks.